Bosnian Muslim Cleric Urges Europe: Support Islam in Order to Curb Extremism

January 26, 2004

Source: The International Herald Tribune

On January 26, 2004 The International Herald Tribune reported, "Bosnia's most senior Muslim cleric has warned that European governments must do more to support Islam if they are to curb Islamic extremism. Mustafa Ceric, the grand mufti of the estimated two million Muslims in this former Yugoslav republic, said in a recent interview that Europe was failing to engage with Muslims, allowing militants to step in and create the kinds of groups that have been used to recruit terrorists. He called for European governments to help finance Islamic schools and mosques. Europe, he said, needs to 'institutionalize' Islam, to give it 'an official voice.' Ceric also criticized countries that gave support to any single religious group. 'Any state that claims one religion is a failure and is dangerous,' he said."